Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

We had a lot of fun today. My day started with an awesome racewalk during which I enjoyed the Christmas lights and the peace & quiet in the neighborhood. It was about 10 degrees, so pretty cold, but beautiful. Good news...the no treats for the past few weeks has paid off. The scale read 147.0 this morning :). Of course, after the treats I enjoyed today it might not stay that low. No, seriously, I did indulge but had saved points, and I exercised a lot, so probably will be OK.

After returning home, I got a quick shower and made some coffee, and my parents showed up. Calvin was awake and ready to see what Santa brought - so fun to see how excited he was! Michelle was still asleep, so Loren went in to wake her up. She said, "Don't wake up me, Daddy. Don't wake up ME!". 3 1/2 year old grammar is totally cute sometimes.

Once she was up, however, she was so thrilled to see that Santa had brought her a toy kitchen. She and Calvin both loved it, and they also loved their stockings, full of candy, fruit (pears and grapefruit, which seemed to be as much of a hit as the chocolate!), crayons, coloring books, and more. The cutest thing she said all morning was very early on - she had looked at her new kitchen carefully for 30 seconds or so, and then she said, "But there's NO FOOD!". She really wanted some toy food! Calvin then pointed at a present with her name on it, and she opened it immediately - it just happened to be one that had some toy food in it :). Very funny!

Speaking of food, we had the traditional Christmas bread my mom makes for breakfast, plus some pineapple, and of course, chocolate from our stockings. Later in the day we snacked on veggies and a light dip, a few crackers, and a cheese ball (I ate very few crackers and skipped the cheese to save calories for the good stuff). Then we had a beef roast for dinner, asparagus w/hollandaise, spring mix salad with walnuts, apples, feta, and homemade raspberry vinaigrette, and some more pineapple. For dessert, we enjoyed a peppermint stick torte I made, which is one of Loren's favorite desserts. Delicious. All the same, while I was racewalking today, it felt so great and I knew that it was worth it to keep my indulgences (like today) to a minimum so that I can stay fast :). Crazy, huh? But a good kind of crazy.

I got Loren the Wii Fit Plus for his big present. He's actually excited to use it. We tried out some of the games and they're really fun. I like the balance games (favorites were snowboarding and ski jumping), though I clearly need practice to excel at them. I tried the step aerobics, and while it was fun, it was too easy for me - barely got me breathing. Hopefully after I do it a while it will get harder Regardless, it was quite entertaining.

Oh, almost forgot...was going to mention last night, too. Our church moved to a much nicer building - we were meeting in a dingy basement (for 9 years!) but outgrew it and started renting a beautiful chapel at Rowland Hall St. Mark elementary school. It has a STEINWAY grand piano, and a PIPE ORGAN. I swear I'm in heaven!!! Our first service there was last night, and I played both the organ and piano. It was beautiful. I haven't had so much fun with music in a long time. It probably helped that I got to accompany a very good trombonist who attends our church; he played Ralph Vaughan Williams' Greensleeves. Plus I enjoyed the postlude on the organ: JS Bach's In Dulci Jubilo. Awesome.

Feels like there is so much more to tell. I know I'm missing a lot but I need to get some sleep, so will post a pic or two with this and head off for some shuteye. I will be working on more photos and a movie of the day, but that will take a while, so hang on!

Update: Pictures posting too slowly for some reason. Need sleep. Will try tomorrow, sorry!

getting back in the swing of things

Racewalking has been going better :).

After Sunday's 3.7 miles, I didn't RW on Monday. I did the bike & elliptical instead. On Tuesday, I opted for 35 min racewalking on the treadmill (about 3 miles), and 30 min biking. Wednesday, I did 44 min on the treadmill (about 4 miles - faster!), and Thursday I skipped RW to do 30 min swim, 30 min stationary bike, 30 min elliptical. The swim was fun! I did 5 laps freestyle, thinking about my new technique pointers from Chuck, and then did 2 laps kick and 3 laps pull. I repeated that and then ended w/5 laps freestyle. My freestyle laps have improved a lot with the tips from Chuck - I think now that I could average 1:00 laps instead of 1:05-1:10. But the big news is my racewalking - after a week I feel back in the groove, and the foot is good. Yay!

Mileage totals for week 1 back:
Friday - about 1.2 miles
Saturday - about 2 miles
Sunday - 3.7 miles
Monday - none
Tuesday - about 3 miles
Wednesday - about 4 miles
Thursday - none
TOTAL: 13.9 miles, and the foot is fine :)

Week 2 started today. I decided to push it a little. Hopefully not too much; everything still feels fine. The gym was closed today, but I knew I needed the cardio because of the Christmas dinner to come, so I walked a hilly 4 miles (600 ft up, then down) in 44:24, for 11:06/mile. Not bad in my current state. This afternoon, we were at my parents' house, and I went out for a walk there for the first time. They moved here in October, but I haven't been able to RW since then, and so this was new for me. I did another very hilly route, covering 4.23 hilly miles in 45:56 for 10;52/mile. YES! Under 11:00/mile AND on a hilly route. I was pushing a little at times, but my average heart rate was only 143, so not too hard.

I'm on my way back! Now I need to be good and not increase mileage too quickly. No RW tomorrow to save on miles; Sunday I will probably do some though, because the gym doesn't open until 10 am. Unless I decide to go parents got me SNOWSHOES for Christmas!!! My mom is getting a pair tomorrow too, so we might go together. FUN!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gotta start somewhere

I racewalked about 3.7 miles around SugarHouse Park this morning. It was damp, foggy, and chilly (21F; -5C), and I didn't see a single person out there. I guess 7 am on a chilly Sunday is too much for people? Or maybe I'm crazy :)?

I was very slow, as I expected. 11:15/mile average pace, keeping my heart rate in the low 140s (which is an easy-moderate HR for me). What surprised me was that my legs felt tired and a bit heavy after only 1.5 miles. I guess that shouldn't have surprised me, given that I haven't racewalked in 2 months. I suppose I figured that the elliptical and the bike were closely enough related that I'd keep a lot of my racewalking fitness; not so. It's OK. I'm sure that after a few weeks it will improve a lot. But today I felt pretty tired for only 3.7 miles. I wouldn't be surprised if my shins were sore tomorrow :). They feel fine now; actually, everything feels fine, just a little tired.

It was good to be out there - I enjoyed exercising outside for the first time in a while. However, I think it's going to be a few weeks before racewalking feels really good again. Gotta start somewhere though. I have a half marathon to train for on March 20th!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm baaaaaaack!

I racewalked today. And, truth be told, I racewalked a little yesterday, too :). I figured one day early wouldn't hurt! Yesterday I did 15 min on the treadmill, and honestly, it felt a bit on the awful side. I did the treadmill after bike & elliptical, so I was a bit tired to start with. My racewalking muscles are out of shape, and so I was slow (12 min mile; 5 mph!). And my right piriformis was bugging me almost immediately (it has never really gotten better, despite no racewalking for 2 months - that's another story, but I think I might have something else going on w/it - might be a disc problem, sadly). But I was racewalking, and that was great. My foot did not bother me at all, which was great, too. I didn't really expect it to be a problem unless I did a longer workout or more miles, but you never know.

Today I did 20 min on the treadmill, after 45 min of swimming. The treadmill felt much better today. I was able to do about 5.3 mph, and the piriformis didn't bother me much. After that 20 min, I did a couple minutes on the concrete around the ice rink at the gym. That felt even better :). I felt much smoother today than yesterday, and my foot didn't hurt. Good stuff. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow morning, when I plan to RW around SugarHouse Park. Yay!!!!!

Back to the swimming for a second. The gym has been a good thing - I met this woman, Jill, who works out there all the time. We've hit it off and often chat while we exercise. She knows a ton of people and is always introducing me to someone. Anyway, she has a friend, Chuck (female, believe it or not), who is a pretty darn good swimmer. Chuck was going to give Jill some pointers at the pool this morning, and Jill invited me to tag along. I'm SO glad I did. It was amazing. Chuck said I'm actually looking pretty good, but she gave me a few tips about my swimming that I think will really help a lot. I wasn't reaching as far forward as I could with my arms, and I was reaching toward the middle of my body (head) rather than to my shoulders (straight ahead), thus wasting several inches or more with each stroke. In addition, I wasn't bringing my elbows high enough on the recovery part of the stroke (was dragging my arms sideways a bit in the water, wasting energy). Finally, I was doing a few minor things wrong with my hand position, and my kick was mostly good but she did have a few tips for me there as well. I think that if I actually practice the stuff she showed me, I'll be able to average 57 or 58 sec/50 yd rather than the 1:05 (or more) that I've been doing. Of course, now I can racewalk again, so I'm not sure how much I'll swim. But it was great to get the pointers and I do plan to do a little swimming in the near future so I can practice them.


Personal life --- work has been busy but good. I feel like I'm finally getting into the groove of the new job and the new relationships in the lab seem to be settling in. Whew. However, I've worked a lot of hours in the past few weeks, and that plus the computer problems I've had AND all the holiday stuff has meant little sleep. Not good. Oh, and I've also had a bunch of stuff going on with special music for if the above-mentioned stuff wasn't enough? Ah well...'tis the season I guess.

My weight is up a bit (150 this morning) but I've been really good about my eating so probably just some water retention. Still, I'm staying on it, and no treats until Christmas is still in effect (and I'm doing well with that - not easy; my piano student brought me a thing of Dove chocolates today. I gave some to the kids but am saving most for when I can have them again!). Anyway, I'm just persevering through it all. The craziness will not last forever.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

waaaay tired...but only 7 days until I can racewalk again :)

I'm exhausted. Not enough sleep. I keep trying, but I think it's useless. Too much to do, too little time. Maybe once the Christmas stuff is done it will be better? Maybe not, but I can hope. I'm going to say no to anything extra, that's for sure.


Only 7 days until I get to racewalk again. I think I need to find some different shoes, though. With the orthotics, my left foot is rubbing the top of my shoes. It's OK with my everyday shoes, but my RW shoes are worse. I have some running shoes that seem OK, but the heels are too high for comfortable RW. But this is not really a good time to buy new shoes, not with just having bought 2 new car seats because Michelle outgrew her toddler seat. In addition, it's Christmas, AND we just went to Seattle and that cost a bit too. I think I can wait until January for some new shoes. Besides, I won't be RW that much to start with, since I want to be very cautious in increasing my mileage after not walking for 2 months.


The past few weeks have been a little computer hell. My PC randomly shuts itself off at inopportune times, so my boss offered me his old Mac laptop. I gladly took him up on it. Of course, that brought the usual amount of challenge of transferring data, plus more, because much of my software won't work on a Mac. After I had solved most of the problems, it still wouldn't print at home, or weirdly enough, at work. The computer guy at work looked at it and said the hard drive was iffy, and that I should get a new one and transfer the data. I did that, but during the data transfer to the new hard drive, the old one died. Grrrrrrrrr. So, now I have a Mac with a nice big hard drive and nothing on it except the applications that come with OS X. So, until I get some more applications for it, I'm back to the PC that works on and off. Wheeeeee.


At Weight Watchers this morning I was about the same weight as 3 weeks ago. Still 4 lbs above where I want to be, at 149. I've had a good week since Tuesday when we got back from vacation, and I'm hoping to stay strong. I'm definitely skipping the women's cookie exchange tomorrow! I'm going to save up points this week to enjoy a nice meal with Loren on Friday instead.


My mood hasn't been so good. The exercise in the morning is keeping me from feeling too down, but the lack of sleep and lack of sunlight isn't helping. I'm glad I get to racewalk again soon. Meanwhile, I just have to remember that winter won't last forever, and I need to hang in there.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

one foot in front of the other

Sometimes you just have to keep going and keep putting one foot in front of the other. That's how it is right now. I have been waking up in pretty rotten moods, and the exercise at the gym staves it off for the most part, but I still don't feel great.

Since we got back from Seattle on Monday night after a harrowing drive home through the snow, I have been eating better. I decided to swear off of treats of any kind until Christmas Day, to try and jump-start some good eating. Seems to be working so far. I have to decide on a good reward for doing it, and I'm still thinking about what it will be. There will be one exception - on Dec 18th I'm planning on a date with Loren, and I'll be permitted to have dessert if I have the points for it. Other than that, no treats at all. I've been having fruit for dessert, and though it's winter fruit (i.e. mostly frozen berries, apples, whatever is around) it's helping me deal with nighttime cravings.

Now hopefully this will all show up on the scale, given time. The scale has been ugly - 150 lb this morning. Well, nothing I can do about it except eat right and exercise, and it will come back off. Too bad it's so easy to gain and so hard to lose.


Only 9 days until I can racewalk. I am really looking forward to it. I'm getting used to the bike & elliptical, but it's just not the same. I'm very nervous that I will have a recurrence of my injury, though. I will have to take it very easy to start with and listen to my body. I've heard that sesamoiditis is very hard to recover from, so I'm hoping I'll be lucky and get over it easily. I do have the new custom orthotics, and I might look into some new shoes as well. Something, anything, to be able to racewalk pain-free.


The kids have been tough lately. They favor their dad, and sometimes that's hard for me to take. I think maybe it's because he's not around as often, and so when we are both around they would rather be with him. But it's still hard. I wonder what I am doing wrong as a mother that they just don't want to be with me. I probably need to spend more time doing fun things with them, but it's so hard to find time to get everything done that I really don't know where I'd fit it all in. And I'm not sure it would help - I did a lot of fun stuff with them on the family trip to Seattle and it doesn't seem to have made much of a difference.


I bought my first painting this week. My friend Sue painted it, and I loved it because Michelle enjoys pomegranates so much :). I couldn't resist, and so here it is :). If you like the painting, she has more to sell - just let me know.


More racewalking stuff: trying to figure out which races to do next year. I was going to do the 20K in Huntington Beach in March (and still might) because it was to be the National Masters' Championship and would have $200 prize money. Well, they are still having the race, but now it is not the championship (it went to Florida, in November) and no prize money. Hmmmm. That was to be my 40th birthday present to myself. Not sure what I will do now, especially since I declined to enter the Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon with my walking club so that I could do the 20K in CA. Drat. I know I'm going to go to the National Masters' Championship USATF meet in July in Sacramento to do the 5K and 10K, but other than that, I have no idea. I probably should start making some goals, but feel unmotivated and too stressed & busy to think right now.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

the good and the bad

The good: I've been exercising well, except for the couple days I missed due to traveling (1 day) and no gym access (1 day). Mostly elliptical and bike; yesterday I did an awesome Body Pump class at Gold's Gym with my cousin Heidi. It felt great to work out after missing the 2 days.

The bad: Traveling = lots of restaurant food, more temptations than usual, and well, big eating problems. I can't blame it all on traveling, as I know I've been eating just for pleasure (not necessarily hungry, but delicious food available...sigh) and because I'm tired. I have noticed I eat when I'm tired, which is helpful to know, but combating it will be a different matter. One step at a time I guess. I'm full of excuses right now and need to just wake up and remember that the food does NOT make me happy. DUH! Man, I'm grumpy this morning.

I'll feel better after a good workout. I am going to the gym!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Challenging time

This is a challenging time of year for me. The food issues are pushed to the forefront, and it takes a lot of energy to deal with it. Add in the holiday madness, driving to Seattle this weekend for my grandpa's 90th birthday (which I'm looking forward to, but it will be hard food-wise and will take more energy), and the late sunrise/early sunset, and it's just a bummer.

I love Advent, actually, so I want to have fun. We did get out the Christmas decorations, the Advent wreath, and Advent calendar, and we decorated the house. I made hot cider and hot buttered rum, listened to seasonal music, and attended the Messiah sing-in at Abravanel Hall with my friend Elizabeth.'s not been easy. I have been exercising very diligently, which helps my mood. I shudder to think what it would be like without that. I woke up super grumpy this morning, but 15 min into my workout (exercise bike 35 min, elliptical 30 min) I felt a lot better. I've been doing better on the food, but not good enough to lose the weight I gained a couple weeks ago when I ate a large excess of cookies and candy for a week straight. I was 148 lb this morning, which isn't too bad, considering.

I miss racewalking a lot. Haven't found anything yet that holds a candle to it. The elliptical is at least tolerable. The stationary bike? Ick! Swimming? So-so, probably better than the bike, but the hassle factor is higher. Today is December 1st. That means I only have 18 days until I can start to add in some racewalking again, when my two months of rest are up. And I will be counting every one of them! Even when I can start to RW again, I will have to build up slowly and carefully to make sure I don't re-injure my foot or hurt something else by doing too much too soon. So I'll still be in the gym for a while, doing the elliptical and the bike.

I'm muddling through, I guess. Just keep on going, one foot in front of the other, and look forward to the little things in life.